How To Care For Your Skin In The Winter If You Swim Regularly, According To The Experts
If you're someone who's into swimming, you're certainly not going to let winter come between you and your favorite exercise. However, you may be in need of skin care solutions for swimming in winter since it's a tricky season for skin. There are so many things that can dry skin out during the winter, from harsh weather conditions to indoor heating, but when you throw chlorine into the mix, things get even dicier.
Depending on your skin type, you may find yourself sensitive to chemicals (such as chlorine) at the best of times, never mind in the more challenging, colder months. There's also the issue of drying your body properly before you leave the changing rooms — you can't expect your skin to air dry in the same way, with the absence of hotter temperatures and glorious sunshine.
"Chlorine is great at preventing bacteria from growing in a swimming pool, but it can also irritate skin and lead to dryness," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky tells Bustle in an email. "In the winter, when dry skin is already a problem for many people, swimming in chlorinated water can make it worse."
So, how can swimmers stay extra cautious about their skin during the colder months? Prystowsky and two other experts weighed in below.
1. Remove Your Makeup Before You Swim
"Occasional visits to the pool will not harm the skin but regular trips will. Skin can lose elasticity and become dry and dehydrated which accelerates aging," says Stalina Glot, Esthetician at Haven Spa, in an email to Bustle. "Before entering the pool, remove your makeup because chlorine and makeup together can have a chemical reaction which causes allergies."
2. Moisturize Before Swimming
"I'm frequently asked by my patients, who swim year round, how to protect their skin from long periods of water exposure and chlorine," board-certified dermatologist and Founder of Replere, Dr. Debbie Palmer says. "To keep your skin in tip-top condition while swimming all year round, I recommend applying a moisturizing cream prior to swimming. This provides a barrier between the skin and the pool water and helps prevent skin dryness."
3. Don’t Leave Too Quickly
Glot highlights the importance of treating your skin with kindness, “Don't leave the pool area quickly as the shock of cold air can stress skin," she says. It might be a good idea to hit up the jacuzzi and steam room on your way out.
4. Rinse Off Post-Swim
"If you want to help protect yourself from dry skin after swimming," says Dr. Prystowsky, "it’s important to immediately rinse off when you get out of the pool."
"I also recommend rinsing the pool water off after swimming and re-applying the moisturizing cream at this time," Dr. Palmer adds. "My favorite ingredients are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramics."
5. Keep On Top Of Cleansing
“For cleansing skin, I recommend using either Dove’s Dry Oil Body Wash or their Dry Oil Beauty Bar. They’re mild cleansers that will help replenish some of the moisturizing oils that are stripped off during your swim," Dr. Prystowsky says. "If your cleanser does not contain an oil, then I’d recommend using a body oil right afterwards to help replenish moisture to your skin. While regular cleansers and soap will wash the chlorine off of your body, they will also wash off your body’s natural oils as well. The whole point is to make your skin less dry! So definitely use a product with moisturizing oils.”
Water babies, rejoice: You can put these skin care solutions to good use to protect your skin all year round, so you can spend more time in the water without worrying.